Luka Doncic walked out of the American Airlines Center on Friday night having posted one of the best games in his career.
It just wasn’t enough.
The Dallas Mavericks fell to the Los Angeles Lakers 119-110 in overtime on Friday night, thanks to a late rally and stellar overtime performance from LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
“It was a great game up until the end of regulation,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said, via the Dallas Morning News. “We didn’t execute a couple of things, and that’s on me.”
Danny Green forces overtime
The Mavericks — who led for most of the game and even built a 15-point lead in the first half — held just a three-point lead with less than seven seconds left. All they had to do was come up with one final stop to grab their fourth win of the season.
There was just one problem: They seemed to forget about Danny Green.
After the ball was inbounded and dished to James, he quickly drove to the hoop, causing Mavericks forward Maxi Kleber to rotate under and help. That, though, left Green wide open in the opposite corner.
So James found Green, who faked once to send Mavs guard Seth Curry flying past him before drilling the shot, sending the game into overtime.
DANNY GREEN AT THE BUZZER!— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) November 2, 2019
(👀 on Dwight Howard holding Seth Curry though)pic.twitter.com/apn0G7vCSL
“It’s all about repetition. Things just don’t happen by accident,” LeBron said of the final play, via ESPN. “We go over this stuff a lot during practice, during shootarounds, during film sessions … When you perfect it in practice, it makes it a lot easier on the floor.”
Carlisle said after the game that they wanted to foul on that final possession, too, but simply couldn’t get it done.
“The intent was to foul, we were just unable,” Carlisle said, via the Dallas Morning News. “The fact that we were unable is on me.”
While Curry should have been able to get to Green in time, Lakers big man Dwight Howard could be seen holding him back just long enough to give Green the space he needed to hit the shot. Yet with no foul called, the game was sent to overtime.
From there, the Mavericks seemed to have lost all control of the game.
The Lakers mounted a quick 7-0 run to start the extra period, and then pushed their lead behind 15 combined points in overtime from James and Davis to lead them to the nine-point win.
James finished the night with a triple-double, dropping 39 points with 16 assists and 12 rebounds. Davis added 31 points and eight rebounds, shooting 15-of-28 from the field. Green finished with 14 points, shooting 3-of-6 from behind the arc.
Doncic’s head injury
Doncic missed that final sequence in regulation due to a head injury he suffered a few possessions prior.
With about 40 seconds left in regulation, Doncic attempted to bring down a rebound after a missed shot from Davis. Yet as he came down, Doncic collided with Lakers center Dwight Howard.
Howard’s chin drilled Doncic in the back of the head, sending him sprawling to the floor in obvious pain.
Though Doncic stayed in the game briefly, he came out before the final possession, still clearly shook up. His head was bleeding from the collision, and at one point he asked for ice on the bench.
He ended up finishing the contest, but Doncic’s head was still bleeding in the locker room after the game. He went off to get stitches from the medical staff, though does not have a concussion, via Saad Yousuf of The Athletic.
Doncic finished the night with a triple-double of his own, dropping 31 points with 13 rebounds and a career-high 15 assists. It marked the 10th of his NBA career, the most among any player in league history before their 21st birthday.
His assists seemed to come at ease, too, including multiple lobs that were perfectly placed at the rim.
Kristaps Porzingis finished with 16 points and nine rebounds, shooting 6-of-16 from the field, and Powell added 14 points.
An inspiring ending
Doncic and James went toe-to-toe on Friday night in an impressive battle — especially given the fact that Doncic is just 20 and kicking off his second season in the NBA.
Thought the game went down to the wire, Doncic and James still embraced happily at the conclusion — wrapping up an inspiring night for both players.
“You never know who you can inspire along your path, and you hope that you can inspire the next generation,” James said, via ESPN. “For me, by me playing the game the right way, always getting my teammates involved and playing for the period of the game, I was able to inspire a kid that wasn’t even in America. That’s pretty special. Obviously we see what he’s capable of doing. HIs ability to make plays, not only for himself but for his teammates, the rebounding, just play for the pure love of the game, it’s a beautiful thing to watch.”
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